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April 2016 Newsletter

Who is Audrey?

Audrey's Blog

Audrey Nelson PhD. is an international trainer, key-note speaker, consultant and author who works with organizations to increase their productivity and profitability through winning communication. strategies.

You can reach Audrey at
or at 303.448.1800 O -  303-448-1801 F - 303.448.1802 C

Audrey is co-chair of the Diversity and Employee Relations PDG for Mile High SHRM.

SHRMSHRM is a preeminent and globally recognized HR professional society whose leadership, perspective, resources and expertise are sought and utilized to address the most pressing, current and emerging human resource management issues. Mile High SHRM is a Mega Chapter with a 1,000 membership.

Smart Talk

Breaking the Barriers: The 21 Percent Gap

Oh, please! People don’t stereotype working women anymore, do they? There were many media reports about the remarks in 2005 made by Lawrence Summers, then the president of Harvard University. The Boston Globe reported that at a conference about women in the science and engineering fields, then-president Summers commented that “innate differences between men and women might be one reason fewer women succeed in science and math careers.” He asserted that, in high school, more boys have high math and science grades. This ultimately creates a small pool of women entering college programs in these areas and leads to a small number of women at high levels in science and math jobs, Summers said in the article.

Another reason Summers mentioned was “the reluctance or inability of women who have children to work 80-hour weeks.” Summers denied that socialization and discrimination were issues that kept women out of these fields; rather, he insisted it was innate differences and personal family choices.

Along with stereotypes, there continue to be court cases and settlements at companies where women have alleged unequal treatment. Career opportunities, pay, promotions, mentoring, and receiving training continue to be areas where women may find themselves treated differently less than their male counterparts. Stay aware of major court cases that impact working women like the 2002 $31-million settlement by American Express Financial Advisors, Inc., or the 2007 Morgan Stanley class action settlement of $46-million both cases that alleged gender discrimination and unequal treatment of women in career growth and job responsibilities. Did you know that in 2014, women working full time in the United States typically were paid just 79 percent of what men were paid, a gap of 21 percent? The gap has narrowed since the 1970s , due largely to women’s progress in education and workforce participation and to men’s wages rising at a slower rate. But progress has stalled in recent years, and the pay gap does not appear likely to go away on its own.
This stuff still happens. It’s important to be aware that stereotypes and unequal treatment may be impacting your career and how you are seen and heard on the job. What barriers are keeping women from achieving their career goals? If the workplace treats everyone fairly, why aren’t more women holding higher-level positions? We still hear about the glass ceiling that often seems impenetrable to women, an ultimate barrier that keeps women away from the executive club. Although there’s increasingly less talk about the glass ceiling, barriers still seem to be keeping women from climbing the corporate ladder.

We tend to minimize the roles that gender differences, socialization, and discrimination play in maintaining the status quo in the workplace. There’s a feeling that, after all, in this day and age workplace gender stereotypes and pay inequities just don’t happen anymore. Wrong! If a woman wanted to be president or vice president or lead a country, she could, right? Well, maybe if she lived in Ireland, Great Britain, Israel, Argentina, Finland, India, Chile, or New Zealand, Scotland to name a few countries that have or have had a woman national leader. Of course, this is an election year that has Hilary Clinton running. There are some promising statistics. In 1985 there were 2 women in the US Senate. Today there are 20.

In my training sessions, we hear and talk about the barriers that are keeping many women from promotions, challenging assignments, or the jobs they truly want. These include procedures and policies that are not family-friendly or working-mother-friendly, the ol’ boy network still in place, lack of training and specific development goals, unequal pay, differing communication styles, lack of power, and stereotypes and bias. Other barriers women talk about include working in inflexible workplaces, perceiving that you’re put on the slow track for promotions, not being part of the network and insider information, continually having to work harder than male coworkers, having decisions constantly questioned, being viewed as a joke, being ignored, being harassed, having no meaningful mentoring, and being isolated as the sole woman in a group or department. These are also perceptions of why some women choose to leave a company and start their own business.

Companies invest lots of dollars into their employees through training, time, and work experience. The last thing a company should want is to lose valued employees.

Did you miss one of the Smart Talk Columns?
Browse the archives of Audrey’s 2006 to date- Smart Talk Columns on her web! Simply visit and click on “Newsletters.

psy today

Have you checked out Audrey’s blog?

Why Women Don't Ask: The Negotiation Dilema
Click for article

WOW! Did you know Audrey is the gender communication blogger for
Psychology Today? Check out her monthly blog postings. Take a look at her statistics:

7 Days: 2,787

30 Days: 12,103

90 Days: 34,489

All Time: 572,516

Audrey's Travels

brocadeAudrey conducted a program at Brocade and sat in the "red chair."

The National Center for Women in Information Technology has a Red
Chair – Sit With Me Campaign. Sometimes you have to sit to take a stand. Sit With Me invites you to validate and recognize the important role women play in creating  future technology by taking a small but symbolic action: sit in a red chair and share your story. Pull up a chair and listen to stories from others; men, women, technical and non-technical, as they sit in the red chair.



Audrey in Cincinnati presenting
A Women's Guide to Leadership.

Sound Bites

sound bitesThe Crying Game: The Pre-Cuing Technique

Women learn pretty early on in life that men can get uncomfortable when faced with a crying woman, and will often do just about anything to stem the flow of tears. His level of discomfort sky rockets as the sobs increase. He learns he has to keep that box of tissues handy anytime a potentially delicate issue or conflict has to be addressed. Usually, from his perspective her motivation for tears may fall into one of these three categories: hormone, manipulation or sincere emotion. Crying is a foreign concept to most men, and it can be hard to navigate a situation charged with emotion and tears. One of the biggest mistakes men make in conflict is perceiving a woman's tears as an indication of sadness. Then the man begins to console the woman. She may respond by getting snappy, because he has misread the cue. Underneath a woman's tears is seldom sadness but rather anger! Although the man is experiencing a high discomfort level with her tears, he needs to get at the anger she is

Audrey's Programs
leadershiAudrey has a new program, A Women's Guide to Leadership: Power, Communication and Credibility. A Woman's Guide to Leadership is a hands-on seminar with how-to-steps for every business women who wants to conquer the communication nuances that can enhance her credibility, and make a greater impact on the job. Credibility and power are attribution variables, they are aperception-in the eyes of the beholder. Women come to the workplace with a set of complex communication behaviors that create an undeniable challenge; women are often seen but not heard. The strategies presented go beyond common sense and will provide women with cutting-edge verbal and nonverbal techniques that can be applied directly with immediate success.
What People are saying about Audrey

Hi Audrey,

It was such a pleasure seeing you and having you speak to our wonderful group here at Brocade again. I’ve received wonderful feedback and the team absolutely loved you and your presentation.
Again, such a treat to have you and hope you enjoyed your time with us as well.

Warmest Regards,
Alyssa Maiello
Sales Operations Analyst – NorCal, DCD Central
4 Brocade Pkwy Broomfield, CO 80021

Hi Audrey.
Your presentation today on A Women's Guide to Leadership was fabulous and struck me both personally and professionally. Thank you for your work and sharing it this morning. I grew up with five brothers and still at times struggle with gender stereotypes. I did answer YES to both external and internal barriers that cause disparity for women in leadership roles!
Thanks again for a refreshing way to start my day!

Claire Clurman
Executive Director
Attention Homes

Hi!  I don’t know if you remember me – but we met at the FDCC Litigation Management College in Atlanta last summer!  You did a wonderful presentation called “It’s Not About You!  Communicate To Win” which was fabulous.  We are having our marine summit which means that we invite mainly attorneys and share in the exchange of ideas and educational information.  It would be wonderful if you could quite possibly do a presentation.  I believe your presentation at the Litigation Management College was on the last day and you managed to wow us after a very busy week!

Thank you,
Carol M. Siefkes, AIC, SCLA, AIS
Senior Claims Examiner
Markel – Claims

Hi Audrey, 

I was one of the ladies in your seminar at the Boulder Chamber this morning and wanted to reach out to say thank you! I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation and really took some great things away from it. 
Thank you again and I look forward to receiving your monthly newsletters!

Rental Locating Manager
Housing Helpers of Colorado, LLC 

Audrey's Books

The Gender Communication Handbook –
Conquering Conversational Collisions Between Men and Women


The Gender Communication Handbook is for anyone who works with the opposite sex. If you are a part of a management team, in HR, or develop corporate training, this book is a comprehensive guide filled with smart advice, extensive research, self-assessments, and compelling true-to-life case studies. More

Code Switching –
How to Talk so Men will Listen

Code Switching

Code Switching  is a hands-on tool for everyday use at the office. It is a practical resource with how-to steps to help businesswomen conquer the communication nuances between men and women in the workplace. This book explores the gender impact on business talk. - More

You Don’t Say – Navigating Nonverbal Communication Between the Sexes


You Don't Say is the first book to explore the misunderstandings that often arise between the sexes due to nonverbal communication — and to show readers how to say what they mean and get what they want. More than words, it's nonverbal cues that have the power to improve — or impair — our interactions with the opposite sex at home and in the workplace.

"Audrey's Top 4 CD Communication Hits"


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